Rock Bottom and New Orleans
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
A lot of people say you’ve got to be broken to grow, you have to know pain before you can teach, and you have to hurt before you can learn how to truly smile. I mentioned yesterday that I spent a lot of years wanting to be in a family that wasn’t broken and wishing so bad I had any other life than the life God had blessed me with. Besides losing my dad, which many people did not know about, I had on the outside what seemed to be a perfect life for any middle school girl. I went to church every Sunday, Wednesday, and whenever the doors were open. I sang in the youth choir, everyone knew me, I helped in VBS, went on every choir tour, mission trip, retreat and D-Now there was.. if it was happening I was there! And I was there because I loved Jesus Christ, no doubt about it. I started on the volleyball team and basketball team at school, I had a boyfriend and a best friend I would do anything for, and I had amazing Godly women who considered me their own, took me in, loved me, and lead me to Christ in every way. My walk with Christ would not be where it is today if it hadn’t been for those women who loved me in my awkward, rough middle school days. Things seemed perfect! But on the inside I just wanted acceptance, I wanted love, I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere because no matter how much I did, no matter who was in my life, I never felt loved and I never felt like I fit in with anyone. But on the outside it was perfect, until one day my boyfriend broke up with me, my best friend walked away, those Godly women quit talking to me or told me they couldn’t be what I needed. I remember feeling like everything good in my life was gone and I was lost! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the good things in life and forget that God is the only reason we have anything that we have to hit rock bottom to realize what we’re here for. I was at rock bottom.
Earlier that summer was my first mission trip to New Orleans. The mission trip that stole my heart and never gave it back. There I met Kristin Tew and I was mesmerized. Some of our group worked in their church, First Baptist Norco, and all week I just wanted to talk to her. Of course, I’m pretty sure I never did. One night, she shared her testimony and as she was sharing her story she was talking about our dads and our Heavenly Father, she looked straight at me and said “some of you might not even have fathers on this Earth but you always have your father in Heaven.” I had never talked to her in my life. That’s when God started her work in my life. She and her husband later came to speak at fall retreat, Commission. That was the best weekend of my life. I don’t remember much besides the Tews being there and I remember writing a note to Mrs. Kristin and spelling her name wrong. I don’t know what night it was, what songs we sang, or what the sermon was even on but I remember feeling a way I’ve never felt before. I felt healing for the first time in my life. I realized that losing my dad left a Jesus shaped hole in my heart. Any brokenness does. I tried so hard for years trying to stuff Godly people, Godly actions, Godly anything and everything into that hole. But it isn’t the people, the actions, the things that fill us up. It’s Jesus Christ. I didn’t need anyone else, anything else but God. I finally felt like I didn’t have to wish that I had any other life because the life I had been given was the life only I could live and I needed to start living it the way God wanted me to. That night knowing that if it was just me and God for the rest of my life I’d be the happiest I could ever be, God called me into the ministry. I didn’t know what it would look like and I have prayed every day since. But God knows and I am so excited to be on this journey with Him. So thank you to those people who broke my heart, without that heart break I wouldn’t be able to know how it feels to be just me and God and completely satisfied with that! And thank you immensely to Mrs. Kristin Tew who has spoken into my life in so many ways over the last six years without probably even knowing it. You’re an amazing woman of God and I have been so blessed by watching God work through your life and I know He’s done even more than what I see on Facebook! Thank you for living your life for Christ and being an example making me want to do the same!! I couldn’t and wouldn’t be right here today if it weren’t for you!